I can't do it, I've tried
By adrastos
10/26/2009 11:36:17 AM
Step 1 - Key Principle — Admit that you, of yourself, are powerless to overcome your addictions and that your life has become unmanageable.
Things have been kind of stagnant still. I realize that I haven't fully comprehended the 1st step. I have still tried to convince myself that I can do this. I can't. I am realizing just how powerless I am. No matter what I do I fall back into this awful sin which brings down my spirit while dragging me through mud.

So, here I am admitting that I am powerless to overcome my addiction. Nothing I do by myself will change my addiction.

Now time to be humble to Heavenly Father and put some faith and trust in Him, something I've struggled with my whole life.


That's a good beginning    
"After reading what you wrote on my other blog, I realized that I don't know anything about what it must be like to be a married addict. Sorry for trying to give you advice about it. Clearly, I'm not the person to ask when it comes to marital relationships.

I do feel fairly competent when it comes to recovery meetings, though. Since you've also been through LDS family services, I'm going to assume you live in Utah. If that's your case, then I STRONGLY recommend that you give sexaholics anonymous a call. Here are their Salt Lake and Utah county numbers:

Salt Lake City 801-261-2772

Utah County 801-802-8380

I've been to both LDS and S.A. meetings, and I have to tell you that the S.A. meetings work a lot better for me because they focus more on how to fix the problem and less on the doctrines of the Church. Don't get me wrong, I love the church, but I wasn't able to find the resources I needed to start my recovery until I turned to S.A.

You sound pretty desperate, so I don't know why you wouldn't want to at least try two or three S.A. meetings, if for nothing else, then just because you need to get a sponsor. I can't even begin to tell you how great it is to have someone you can call anytime you want and who knows exactly what you're going through because he's been there. The best part of it is that a sponsor can also teach you what you must do to conquer your addictions.

I feel for you, Adrastos. I pray for you and for all the other struggling people on this site every day."
posted at 17:20:53 on October 26, 2009 by ETTE
"I'll have to give S.A. a try. And I'm not upset about any advice given, but it is very different to be an addicted and married with children. I had this problem when I was single too. No matter what it brings you down. I'll try out S.A. sometime. Its difficult because I already have so many time constraints, but I know you have to make time for the important things in your life."
posted at 12:40:14 on October 27, 2009 by adrastos
Just some thoughts...    
"I just felt I should say something…I am a wife of an addict. And Adrastos, you are so correct…It is more painful than most can imagine!! That being said…I believe we should be given the choice to decide if we want to stay or not. Without all the information, how can we make an educated decision? I know the idea of losing your family is painful…Though no actions of my own, my family is in jeopardy of not being eternal. It’s tough!! But one thing you said made me think for a bit, “My wife knows that I struggle, and I let her know that I've been struggling recently. Its hard to be completely forthcoming with her when I'm struggling really bad. But I know I need to, when I hold back its easier to give into the addiction. Talking to her last night gave me a boost today.” If my husband was struggling I would want to be a support to him, marriage is a covenant between two people and the Lord…If there is a problem in my marriage that could take away my eternal family, I feel I have the right to know. And though it might hurt, if it helped him stay clean (by venting to me), I would welcome that! I can’t remember where I heard this but…You’re only as sick as your secrets. You say when you hold back it’s easier to give into the addiction. Maybe you should try to an accountability thing with your wife. Start a journal, and maybe share it with her. You say your wife already knows you struggle, then she is already tougher than you give her credit for. From a wife perspective, I hear my husband has a pornography problem…I’m thinking the worst, so really anything he says isn’t going to shock me farther than I have already been shocked. I would only see complete honestly as a step in rebuilding the broken trust that we have in our marriage. Just a few thoughts from my rambling head.
I admire your righteous desires! All things are possible with God; he loves you and wants you happy. You deserve to be happy!!"
posted at 15:49:14 on October 27, 2009 by summer
Hi Ette:    
"I have lived almost my whole life in addiction to p and m . I tried everything some of which include non denominational meetings and going through LDS Family Services with group therapy with my wife ,and other couples and one on one with a therapist. I am in agreement that hearing about gospel principals will not cure an addict. I have been in the church active my whole life, hiding my addict self inside the church, always active, always believing the Atonement would help OTHERS no matter what. I thought I was alone and uniquely broken. How could anyone who loved the gospel, and the church, and all of the teaching, be, and act so bad. For us that wandered off the straight and narrow path into the mists and forbidden paths, we have exposed ourselves to things that will not heal by going to church and praying and studying the scriptures and attending church. That alone won't heal us We have to do ALL those things like the rest of the world does to stay clean, AND to do the things addicts have to do to recover.

I am taking a long time to make my point that I half agree with you about learning about church doctrines will not control the addictions. If it did we would not be in the mess were in. I am a passionate supporter of the Church's Addiction Recovery Program. The Pornography Addiction Support Group or (PASG) division, of that program is inspired. We have our own venue, in my group everyone there is an addict including the Missionary group leader. When our group starts I am introduced as Elder _______ , only to let the people in the group know that this group ,which is no longer referred to as lds family services addiction recovery program, but is NOW called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint's Addiction Recovery Program. It is ran under the direction of the Holy Priesthood, with the backing, and support of the first Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve, all the way down to the Stake President and to the bishop who lays their hands and sets the missionaries apart to run the meetings. This program is HIS program. We want those who come to use their faith or gain faith in the LDS church and all it represents ,and what they have provided for those who are addicted. After the introduction for the rest of the meeting ,my name is Harvey, brother and a fellow addict, who needs help every single day to combat this affliction, that I have succumbed to in the past. My addiction is in remission by the grace of God, and this program, which is an Atonement Utilization Program.

All program are not ran like they are supposed too. All meetings are supposed to be run the same. We read the lesson from the “guide to addiction and recovery” WE DO NOT LEARN ABOUT GOSPEL DOCTRINES, we already know those, we do learn how to apply the gospel and make the Atonement active in our lives, the stuff found in the guide is not generally found in other places, we concentrate on the Atonement and how the 12 steps work to free those in bondage. Yes we read scriptures that apply to what we are going through, and we read what Apostles and Prophets have said concerning what we are studying. This is NOT just another church class or study group. Only the fist 15 minutes is spend absorbing material, the rest of the 1hour and 15 minutes is spent in a focused testimony meeting. We learn from our brothers how to overcome and win this war on our souls. I reject that we spend less time on fixing the problem. I am so sorry that you are not having the same experiences as those of us here in the Las Vegas area, with regard to the Church's program. Either you have one heck of a SA group, or one crappy Church program. If you want to learn how a program should work I have 3 sites to check out ,the first two I made and the 3rd one is put out by the ARP program. The last one has the script that is to be used and all the materials available to the missionaries and facilitators of the program. I am spending all this time writing this because if your church program sucks, you might be able to fix it, or if there is not one in your area, these three websites will give you everything you need to get a church group started in your area.
By the Way SA is a great program and they helped me as well and I would use them as well. I am of the opinion of getting help anywhere you can find it, both in the Church and out of it, just don't give up to fast on the Church's help. The first site is it is about porn addiction the next site is it is about the ARP program and the last site is a website that needs a username and password the username is arp and the password is update this last site is the official site of the program all programs should be patterned after the materials of this site. Great stuff in there.

Let me know if there is stuff that can be added to my sites that have worked,

All the best to you
posted at 16:28:50 on October 27, 2009 by harveyf
"I know you are right. I do so much better when I'm completely honest with my spouse. We see how much pain it causes you and the temptation is to hide the truth to stop the pain, but of course all lies come from Satan and only cause more harm than good. I don't want to lie anymore. I does go hand in hand with this addiction especially if you are married. We fear we're going to lose our families so we lie, which puts us farther in Satan's grasps and makes us more likely to lose our families. Its a vindictive, vile disease that only the Savior can heal. I've tried to do it on my own my whole life. That doesn't work. Even with help from my wife and my bishop and AR meetings, I'm still struggling. I'm come to the conclusion that I have to give up, and let God fight this, because I can't do it. That's been a struggle, because I have trust issues with fathers (including our Heavenly Father), I know I shouldn't but I have had them. Something I need to work through.

I really appreciate your comment and reminder that honesty is still and always will be the best policy. Thank you."
posted at 18:55:06 on October 27, 2009 by adrastos
"Thanks for the links to those websites, I already checked out the ldsarp website that you posted a week or two ago. I have a lot of respect for the work you've done to help other addicts, and I'm sorry if you were offended when I wrote that the ARP meetings are inferior to SA because they're too "churchy".

After reading your comment, I have a need to explain myself and vent. If anyone has a problem with what I'm about to write, that's fine, but I'm not even going to read your comments if you post anonymously.

My biggest problem with the arp meetings is the fact that they let non-addicts (the senior missionaries) into the meeting. Usually these missionaries have been bishops in the past, and I guess I have a problem with that. This may not be the most accurate analogy, but having a non-addict in an addiction recovery meeting is as disturbing for me as having a non-member in a temple session would be.

As I stated in my comment to ADRASTOS, the S.A. meetings work better for me, but that doesn't necessarily mean they'll work better for anyone else. I was only speaking for myself and explaining what's helped me so far.

The reason I have so much resentment towards church leadership when it comes to addiction recovery, is because I feel like I was severely mistreated by my bishop in my home ward when I confided my problems to him about nine years ago. He broke his ecclesiastical duty to keep all confessions confidential, but I suppose that's another story.

In any case, I'm not going to come running to a recovery meeting just because the church has approved it. If the church came out with a sports drink, I would still choose Gatorade because I trust it and because its effectiveness has been proven by countless individuals over an extended period of time. Just to prove my point, I think there's some story about how Joseph Smith started a currency that failed and caused several members of the church to lose a bunch of money.

I strongly believe that the church is the absolute authority when it comes to finding salvation, but when it comes to recovering from mental health issues like addictions, I just don't think it's wise to discredit proven programs because the church offers alternatives."
posted at 22:17:10 on October 27, 2009 by ETTE
Hi Ette    
"I was not offended, I just don't want the other end of the spectrum to not give the Church Program a chance. I really want to hear about other options out there. If you checked out the 2 sites that I put together you will find that I list alot of non church resources, to use.

I am a rebel, missionaries are not to make or have any websites, that is against our handbook, put out by family services. I have found a need in the program to refer people to other resources, the arp program is flawed but it has some great benefits, for example you are always able to talk about the Savior and the Atonement and what the general authorities have said. I do agree with you about the missionaries being there for a calling and not because they are recovering addicts. If I ran the program, especially in a pasg group , I would never let anyone lead the group unless they were a recovering addict, or at least the facilitator is a recovering addict. In our program here and anywhere else I have been too, the recovering addicts make the best missionaries. They have been there. When I started going to a pasg group the missionaries were not recovering addicts and I just about left the program, but I stayed and stayed and fixed that problem. I agree with your reasons for not making the church program #1 if it is not working for you. I also had a Bishop who made my wife think that this addiction was her fault and if she just made herself more available that the problem would stop. The church does have a good program , IF it is ran properly, I still would give the church program a chance and even a second chance. The Church is trustworthy of late of not leading people astray. I would go to a church program first because it is backed by the Church, there is a reason the church adopted its own program, it works too. I have seen many miracles in my life and countless others with the churchs program. I am not saying it is the only way to go, but for me and for many I know it works, has been proven to work and is a good choice to go too. The Church does not discredit proven programs, sa works, aa works, saa works, the church does not do a different program, it is the same program, I would love to discuss the differences between programs if they are any. I am not aware of differences that would make another 12 step program better than the Church's. The biggest difference I see is that the higher power is Jesus Christ. Sponsers are called support people, what are some of differences you are aware of, I am not wanting to argue about anything, but I would be very interested in things that would help the churchs program. My mind set is if the Spirit is felt in the meeting we are doing things right. But I would implement anything that would improve our time together in a meeting. I look forward to hearing some of your, and others insights.

posted at 19:42:26 on October 28, 2009 by harveyf
Senior Misionary Group Leaders    
"I know it's hard to believe, but those who serve are there for a reason. I started off in PASSG and neither of my leaders thought they had experienced addiction in their lives, but they knew the Atonement. That is what we are there to learn; the Atonement.
My husband now attends a PASG group and their group leader was not an Addict either, but he too knew the Atonement. Having a fellow Addict is what the role of Facilitator is for. Having a religious leader who can refocus, lead, direct and bring the word of God is what the Group Leader(s) is meant to do.
Not all Bishops have experienced having children, falling into debt, loosing a spouse/child/parent or half of the things we as members experience, but they are they and can receive divine inspiration to guide and support those who do. If we focus on thee fact that they have no idea what we are going through we will miss seeing the only one who does working through them... CHRIST.
It may be hard to realize, but Christ is the only one who can truly know what we are going through. No matter how similar our stories are they are severely different. So even our own facilitators don't know exactly what we are experiencing. Yet someone who has been called of God and set apart to serve in the capacity of Addiction Recovery Group Leaders can receive inspiration for us to guide and direct better than a facilitator can during our meetings through Christ and the Spirit. Isn't this part of the beauty of the Atonement? That God can His servants to act in His stead?
Be faithful, practice faith in your leaders and their ability to call those whom God has chosen to serve in this capacity. If you choose to doubt and look for their shortcomings you will see them and you will loose the spirit by looking for ungodly things in your life. Seek for the virtuous, lovely and of good report things that surround you and God will inspire you and warn you when things are not to His standards. Please don't look for them on your own power and understanding for our vision is sorely limited, but God's is not. Go to Him, come unto Christ and seek out His Spirit"
posted at 06:53:54 on January 7, 2011 by Anonymous
"Thanks Adrastos for the excellent example of honesty. I am also grateful for the excellent contributions made to your posting. The are worthy of copying and sharing at a PASG meeting. I serve as a facilitator in PASG meetings and can honestly say that your example of working through step 1 should be shared with others who are still trying to do it on their own.
Thank You and Blessings to you and your wife."
posted at 23:39:29 on January 8, 2011 by 3R's

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"[The Savior] is saying to us, "Trust me, learn of me, do what I do. Then, when you walk where I am going," He says, "we can talk about where you are going, and the problems you face and the troubles you have. If you will follow me, I will lead you out of darkness," He promises. "I will give you answers to your prayers. I will give you rest to your souls.""

— Jeffrey R. Holland

General Conference, April 2006